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Flyers 7, Caps 1

There were only a few highlights for the Caps tonight at Wachovia Center. And both of them, in my opinion, involved Donald Brashear.

Brashear bloodied Flyers' tough guy Riley Cote twice, but the first bout deserves a little recognition. Brashear absolutely destroyed Cote, pummeling him with a rapid-fire succession of left jabs to the jaw and eye. Stupidly, Cote picked another fight with Brashear in the third period and looked woozy as he walked to the dressing room.

Not much else went right for the Caps, whose five-game winning streak came to an abrupt (and somewhat shocking) end.

As Brooks Laich said, the story of this game was the first period. Anytime a team takes 25 shots (a new road record for the Caps) and doesn't get a goal (or four), it's setting the stage for a disappointing defeat.

And that's exactly what happened. The Flyers, by the way, had never yielded more than 22 shots in a period at home until tonight.

Some other notes and quotes from the debacle on Broad Street:


*Already without Alexander Semin (among others), the Caps lost defenseman Tom Poti only five shifts into the game. He tweaked the groin injury that has caused him to miss 11 games this season.

There was no update on Poti's status and when I saw him after the game he declined to comment, citing instructions from team officials. Since there is no practice tomorrow, I likely won't have an update on his status until Monday.

"It seems like everyone we lose is at the three minute mark of the first period," Boudreau said. "He's such a vital part of our team. It's tough to keep losing these guys early on in games and continue to play with the effectiveness you'd like to see."

*Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki was occasionally outstanding in stopping 47 shots. But his performance, as good as it was, is not only the reason the Caps lost and the Flyers improved to 9-0-2 at home in their last 11 games.

*The Caps' potent power play went 0 for 3 in the first period (Tomas Fleischamnn hit the
post on one man advantage opportunity) and the unit finished 0 for 5.

*While Niittymaki was solid at one end, the same could not be said for the Caps' goalies. Johnson was pulled after yielding three goals on 13 shots (he took the blame for the first one and Coach Bruce Boudreau blamed him for the second one) in the first 40 minutes.

*Johnson said he understood Boudreau's decision to pull him. "I don't disagree with the coach at all," he said. "I wasn't as sharp as I needed to be."

*Boudreau said part of the reason for the switch was that he wanted to get Theodore some work after the goalie missed the previous four games with a hip flexor injury. Theodore, who surrendered four goals on 15 shots, stretched himself out during each stoppage of play, leading me to believe he's not 100-percent yet.

"The first goal didn't bother us, but the second goal is what deflated us," Boudreau said. "By the time we had come back again, it was 3-0."

*Defenseman Mike Green finished a game worst minus-4, but he also skated more than any other player (29:24). He also took responsibility for the turnover that led to Jeff Carter's shorthanded goal late in the second period.

Green was on the point when he was pinched along the boards by Mike Knuble and Carter. Green's pass hit a skate and Knuble sent a stretch pass to Carter, who scored his fourth short-handed goal for the Flyers' notoriously aggressive penalty kill.

"We knew they were good on the penalty kill and they go for goals," said Green. "We have to be smarter than that. I should have backed up in that situation."

*Boudreau said he noticed a big dip in his team's energy in the third period.

"If you throw everything at them and get 25 shots and your down at the end of a period, you usually can't maintain that for three periods," Boudreau said. "Essentially when you're playing a goalie that's in the zone, that's pretty well it. You could as the third period wore on that we didn't have much left energy and mental wise. We were pretty beat."

*The loss was the Caps' worst since a 7-1 loss to Toronto in Washington on Nov. 24, 2006.

*Asked about the Flyers putting out their top offensive forwards in final minutes, Boudreau shot back: "What goes around comes around eventually. And it will."

The Caps' next shot at their nemesis is Jan. 6th at Verizon Center.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 20, 2008; 7:27 PM ET
 
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Comments

SEMIN, we miss you...

Posted by: fnralch | December 20, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

From the last thread, Cheef said: @ fanohok1 post 4:59
The dumbest / most ignorant post here.
Make sure you tell the Ducks (most fighting majors) to return their Stanley Cup.
@Cheef: Oh the famous Cheef has reared his brainless head. Did you earn the name Cheef through earning rank in the military or did you earn the nickname because people sarcastically refer to you as Cheef in person? Or did you just forget how to spell Chef? Explain what the post was so dumb. Another stupid example Cheef. The good squad didn’t win the Cup players like the Niedermeyer bros, and Pronger brought that thing home.
You don't think Johnson's 2nd weak goal ended the game?
You don't think that weak goaltending brings a team down no matter what level of talent is in front of them?
You don't think Johnson and Theodore should be pulled on the carpet by their bosses?
You don't think windjammer is an idiot for putting injury reports out as gospel?
You don't think puckguru and his constant slamming of the team isn't annoying? Even when they were on a 5 game winning streak he had dumb things to say.
Now I see why stupid posts are compared to past Cheef posts.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 20, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Pretty low of the Flyers putting their top line when the game was already in hand. Like Coach BB said, what comes around goes around. Can't wait for revenge on Jan 6. Hopefully Cote's face will be ready for some more damage.

Posted by: cbs75 | December 20, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Still no word on why Backstrom didn't play the last half of the 3rd period?

Posted by: VegasCapsFan | December 20, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Backstrom was hurt. A lot times, top players (especially ones who might get crushed) don't play late in chippy blowouts.

--Tarik

Posted by: el_bashir | December 20, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Big deal the Flyers put their 'top' line out late in a 7-1 game. What are they going to do? Play the 3rd and 4th lines all the time? Considering their top 2 lines are more like 1 and 1a? Uh, no. Get over it...its a hockey game, the Caps got their butts handed to them and I am sure OV/Semin/Backstrom/Kozlov and the like would be out there were it reversed.
I hate when people feel that sports teams have to 'play nice' with each other.
Ive got no problem that they put them out against us.

Tarik, I guarantee that if they were playing their bruisers late in the game against us you'd imply that was somehow wrong.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 20, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe not a single post asking why the rookie goalie was sent back down ??

I applaud the loss, Caps GM is an absolute classless individual.

If it's not broke, DON'T fix it.

Philly has team toughness, Caps have better skill but can't compete when it's on the line, great regular season entertainment and that's it.

Posted by: Cheef | December 20, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Cheef, you are a tool

A rookie was sent down because a multi million dollar goalie was ready to suit up.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 20, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

i was at the game. it was so brutal. i couldn't believe we had so many shots in the first and nothing to show for it. and then the goals johnny let in were so weak. and then jose three-or-four lived up to his name. all around it was a horrible game. a 5 yr old smack talked me the whole time...that's when you know you've hit rock bottom. it was hard being there and watching it. good thing they r not in our division and that canes lost and we still have a good lead in the SE. BUT WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO WIN ON THE ROAD!!!

Posted by: capsfan387 | December 20, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm a tool for questioning a winning combination ? For questioning a winning goalie ?

You're the tool for inserting a salary as a reason to send down a better performing goaltender.

Defend all you want, the biggest tool is the Caps GM for signing a loser like Jozy, along with many others like Nylander and Poti, keep rockin the red.

Posted by: Cheef | December 20, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

@Cheef

yawn, boring. Could have pasted your comments after any loss last season and couldn't tell the difference.

Hats off the Flyers, they showed us what "killer instinct" really means. They also played better in the crease, but then again, we're not well equipped for that.

But we also show them we're strong, and dominated almost two periods. It's going to be interesting when they come at VC.

Let's regroup, it was an ugly loss, but decided by episodes: the first two goals, and the puck not going in during the first period. We played good hockey and lost to a very good team. Let's move on :)

Posted by: mauree | December 20, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

by the way, PIT losing 5-1 at home after two. Not that easy the pain but... well, maybe a little bit, it does :D

Posted by: mauree | December 20, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

You meant to say "first two GOALIES", not "first two goals".

Millions of dollars WASTED on Jozy and Nylander, just wasted.

Yawn, same old way of doing business.

BTW, Semin is the most skilled wimp to have ever played in the NHL. Great pride.

Posted by: Cheef | December 20, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Philly's goalie was in the zone while ours were out to lunch. Let's put this ugly one behind us and move on...

Posted by: JCB9 | December 20, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

You act like there was a better choice other than Theodore during the offseason. Would you have rather GMGM signed Huet to a deal similar to that of the one he signed with Chicago?

Posted by: elicea | December 20, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

On the Hotstove tonight Al Strachen said the Caps had a deal in place early in the season to send Nylander to the Blackhawks for Khabibulin but the Caps sat on it. Now the Hawks are looking instead to get rid of Huet.
Also, Florida is shopping Vokoun but they didn't think Florida would trade him inside the division.

Posted by: VegasCapsFan | December 20, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Cheef... you've at least heard of the salary cap, right? Do we sit two goalies on the bench and use up what little cap room we have for the luxury of 3 goalies? Who would be sat to make roster room on the bench to have 2 extra goalies? Did anyone know that we'd need a third goalie before the game started and that we would need a forward to sit?

You can't just leave someone on IR because you don't want to play him. That's what the CBA is for. If the player is signed and healthy, he has a spot. You'd have to trade him or move him through waivers.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 20, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Seems like yesterday everyone was saying how prudent & smart the Caps front office was with respect to managing the salary, that is no longer the case.

Took a real talent to sign everyone to what they wanted, now they can't even afford to win with the best available players.

Please tell me how to justify not playing the best available players ?

The game is about winning and putting the best guys out there, not the best paid.

Posted by: Cheef | December 20, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

It seems like a bad day all around. Bad game, bad opinions, bad weather, bad insults, etc. So, in keeping with such a delightful atmosphere I submit the following reasons for losing the game:
1) It was Nylandsder's fault
2) It was Semin's fault
3) It was Johnson's fault
4) It was the flyers' luck
5) If was Antero Niittymaki's luck
6) It was the euro players' fault
7) It was GMGM's fault
8) It was Pollin's fault

The season is over, lets take the people on the above list to the plaza and hang them. Bless their soul.

Posted by: opita | December 20, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse


JUST SAYING!

TORONTO 7 PENGUINS 2 in 3rd period.

Games like these happen to everyone.

Everyone Relax.

Posted by: lightshow | December 20, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse


I played hockey through my youth and college. And when you go after a team the way Caps did first 30 minutes and you get no results you eventually BURN OUT. Those are the most frustrating games. When you dominate a team and nothing is going in and eventually you run out of steam. I know exactly what they are going through. FLYERS thanked My fellow FINNISH countrymen NYTTI he won the game for them. THAT SIMPLE>

Posted by: lightshow | December 20, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Thank you lightshow, that actually really makes me feel better. :D If we beat the Rangers on Tuesday this game will be completely out of my mind because I'm going to the game on Jan. 6!! I can't wait, we WILL get payback!! ;)

Posted by: rachel216 | December 20, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Cheef, I'm not real thrilled that we can't skate the best we have. But there's a contract with 23 skaters that have to be honored. Like it or not.

This is not a fantasy league where you can ignore the rules of the game and play any players you want when you want to. You can't just "trade" a non-performing player to the pile for someone else to pick up. You take a risk when you sign a player. JT looked good at the end of last year, and considering what was available, the best there was. Varlamov was not ready at the beginning of the season. He's really not ready now. Move him up at the end of this year or beginning of next. That was the plan, and it's a sound one.

There will be games when the Caps will lose. There has never been an undefeated team in hockey. The Caps will lose games. They will lose another. This was a bad one.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 20, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

lightshow:
True. It is certainly not the end of the season. After all, we're still #1 in the SE. But that does not change the fact that that game was painful. We're just smartin' ... we'll get over it. Let's just hope the boys do, too!

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 20, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Cheef, you obviously do not understand how the salary cap works. If we tried to reassign theodore through waivers, he would either get picked up or pass. Either way, we are paying his salary, and i have no idea what kind of money you have but 4 million dollars is a lot of money to throw away. go back to whatever sport you like, because your ignorance in how the salaries and rosters work shows that maybe you shouldn't follow hockey.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 20, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

wow, was this the first loss in six games or the fifth loss in six games? hard to tell with the hang dog comments here. team got beat by a better goalie. dominated the first period w/ nothing to show. couple cheapies by johnny let the team down. gotta score on the pp in this league.

gotta love cheef. team wins five in a row, nothing. loses one game, all of a sudden it's the GM sucks all over again. lemme ask you cheef, when the team was winning all those games with all those injuries, who was playing? mostly young guys drafted by who? you love varlamov, did he sign here on his own or was he drafted? by whom? green, semin? was laich dropped in by helicopter or did gm trade a guy no longer in the league for him?

and great point about teams who fight winning the cup. exactly one team in the last 15-20 years had done that. and they have two lock HOF'ers in niedermyer and selanne and some borderline HOF's guys (i guess) in pronger and the other neidermyer. (sorry about the spelling). yeah, great example.

and yeah, semin's a wimp. took a cross check to an already hurt back, but he's a wimp. did you see in the playoffs last year? hardly a wimpy performance. but you keep believing that. keep watching the team you hate.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 20, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

As much as I hate chief/cheef, this was pretty funny:

"You meant to say "first two GOALIES", not "first two goals"."

Awful, awful game. I would love to know Brashear said to Cote after the second beating. My comment was "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result."

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 20, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

People need to stop paying attention to Cheef. He just comes on here to get a rise out of people. If you ignore him, maybe he'll go away.

Posted by: VegasCapsFan | December 20, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand how one can be so ignorant to how the salary caps and rosters work in hockey, yet try to come here and pass judgments on the GM ?

Posted by: richmondphil | December 20, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I take a little bit of comfort seeing Pitt get shellacked 7-3 on a Hockey Night in Canadia.

Posted by: cbs75 | December 20, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

@cbs

yep. Not only that but they got out shot some 42-20. Terrible performance. Sooner or later they have to do something, and I suspect it will be Therrien.

Posted by: mauree | December 20, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Just Saying!

Leafs 7 Penguins 3

Shots on Goal

Leafs 40: Penguins: 23

Unlike the Flyers game where Caps dominated the first 30 minutes. This one was all Leafs from the drop of the puck.

Life in the NHL.

Should SAN JOSE Trade everyone because Detroit beat them 6-0?

Posted by: lightshow | December 20, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Penguins lost to Toronto eases my pain.

Posted by: elicea | December 20, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only person who thinks it was a mistake to send Varlamov back to Hershey? As much as I like both Theo & Johnson, I don't see consistency on the "stellar" level and this is what it is needed for playoffs. Varlamov could be the missing link.

Posted by: caraveli | December 20, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

on any other night, the caps would have been up 4-0 in the first period.
they need to learn to adjust their game plan. they're still young.that's where having a vet like Feds on the ice adds another dimension to the mental aspects. while I watched the first I thought they needed to chill a bit, especially after 15 minutes. they were too hyped up. that, and some players are outmatched against a physical opponent. in our top 6 only Ovie is physical. that really matters when you face a team like Philly, who are built for the playoffs.
eitherway, a little humble pie once in a while does wonders, I just wish it wasn't against Philly or Pitt.

Posted by: oo7 | December 20, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

and having varlsmov in on a game like this would have hurt not helped. better he went down on top of his game.
as for theo, he's on the way to finishing his career as a backup.

Posted by: oo7 | December 20, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Every time I see a post bt Cheef, I think of that old "don't litter" comercial from the '70s with the indian on it. The one where the indian looks over his shoulder, a tear trickles down his eye and cheek. Then he starts to cry when he see's the mess....

Jeez, cheef, thanks. Keep making me laugh. That mental image of you is price. less.

Cheef!! hahahahahah aaaahhhhaahahahah Stop!! you're killin' me!

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 20, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

@careveli

Varlamov was doomed to be sent back when Theo was healthy. that was certain before he moved up. unless someone magically wants theo, we are stuck with him.

Posted by: richmondphil | December 20, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

caravelli, from a salary standpoint, they really don't have any option. they can't afford to keep three goalies like they did last year. you just arent going to send theo down at that salary. and nobody is going to take him off your hands the way he is playing. johnny would for sure get picked up on the waiver wire. sounds like the caps are happy with him but concerned about his ability to play an NHL schedule yet. he will be up next year. who he will be with is the question. at this point, it's looking like theo.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 20, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I think Varlamov should come back too. Get him in the rotation, at least.

And to respond to the post about SJ trading everyone because they lost, I note that their 6-0 loss was a goalie issue too. Boucher is their hot hand, they should play him.

Posted by: brothen | December 20, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

That was by the way a Sarcastic comment regarding Sharks. To point out that even the best teams can get shelled on any given night.

Nabokov is a perennial Vezina finalist. There is no controversy in San Jose land. Boucher has bounced around the league and has been a career back ever since he flopped as a 1st round in Philly. He has been a career back up and will be. Nabby is one of the top 3 or 4 goaltenders year after year. Not much argument there.

Posted by: lightshow | December 20, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

@ Cheef give it up! Do you really understand the game and the cap. Dont think so! Oh and Poti has done great for us this year...open you eyes son!

Posted by: RedRocker | December 20, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Didn't post until I got over the shock. It sucks, but that was the weirdest game I've ever seen. A team that completely dominates for the first half of the game loses 7-1. This is pure psychology. When you outplay a team in every department and pepper their goalie who doesn't give up any goals, yet they come down a couple of times and get 2 crappy goals on your goalie the air just goes out of the team.

We praise goalies when they steal a game. We should also give them their due when they lose one. Our goaltending absolutely sucked today while Philly's was great. That's really all there is to it. Like Bruce said the 2nd goal just deflated the team. They had the same reaction as the fans... like are you kidding me?

I mean Ovechkin by himself had 11 shots today! Nyytimmaki finished with 47 saves even though we barely got anything on him in the 3rd! That's just crazy!

Johnny has been lately, but he was terrible today and if Theo came back to play like he did in the 3rd he can go back on IR.

I love it how people say Varlamov needs to work on this and that. Varlamov stops the puck. Theo does not. Theo needs to work on stopping the damn biscuit. How about that? I don't give a crap what Varlamov needs to work on as long as he gives us solid goaltending. In the 2 games that he played he displayed better fundamentals than Theo has all year. He doesn't go down early and when he has to go down recovers with lightning speed unlike Theo who just flops around like a fish with zero idea of where the puck is. $4.5 million sack of potatoes.

Also, who asked him to come back early? If he's still injured please take your sweet time getting healthy. Varlamov was doing just fine, thank you very much.

OK, I guess I have not calmed down completely yet. That was just one depressing game to watch. We spent the whole first half of the game in their zone and we're down 3-0. Unbelievable.

Posted by: ranndino | December 20, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Forgot to mention the fight. Riley Cote was served with a full course dinner of Brashear's fists. He had them as an appetizer, as soup, as main course, side dish and 2 portions of dessert.

As for his 2nd fight I have to give him props for having some major cojones.

Posted by: ranndino | December 20, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

@ Randino...

Thanks for reminding me. I'm still waiting for the "puck guru" to post a defense of that insane crap about how Brashier wasn't a "man" and that he had no character.

If you're gonna sit behind a screen and take uninformed pot shots at people, at least have the "stones" to admit that maybe you got a little emotional and were wrong. If you cant, you are nothing more than what rhymes with a "glass-bowl" I think Brashier showed tonight that he has no problem filling the role that he has on the team quite nicely. Thank you.

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 20, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

@ oo7

"and having varlamov in on a game like this would have hurt not helped"

Who says that if Varly was in there it would have turned out like this? We don't know either way, but had Philly not scored those 2 first goals (both bad) on us it might have been a completely different game. Those goals turned the tide. It's entirely possible that Varlamov would have saved both of those shots and we would have continued to pepper Nyytimmaki eventually breaking through and winning this game... maybe even by a large margin. I'm not saying this would definitely happen, but you also shouldn't assume that had Varly been in there tonight the result would have been the same.

Posted by: ranndino | December 20, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

ranndino:
You say major cojones, I say no brains (tuh-mey-toh, tuh-mah-toh ...).

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 20, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

@ lamplighter1

Brashear can be a bit frustrating at times. He's at his best when things happen quickly, he has no time to thing about dancing around with a guy and his instincts just take over. That was as one sided a hockey fight as you're ever going to see. And Cote is a tough kid. For a moment I seriously thought Brash killed him.

BTW, that reminds me of something else related I thought of while watching this game. Our problem is that aside from Brash no one else can really fight. Bradley is willing, but this is about the 4th time in a row I've seen him get destroyed. I am now scared for his health any time he drops the mits. As much as I don't like Erskine as a D he gives us another guy who can really go if the need arises.

Last related thought. Can someone please take care of that punk Upshall? That bastard annoyed the crap out of me the entire playoff series last year and he was up to the same garbage today. Someone just needs to knock all his teeth out once and for all. Freaking Avery wannabe.

Posted by: ranndino | December 20, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

@ Boo

Major cojones and no brains usually go together :)

Posted by: ranndino | December 20, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

These are my 3 positives for todays brutal 7-1 loss.

1) Outshot them, and played a better "hockey game." Hot goalie vs empty net caused for the perfect storm.
2) Brashear
3) Flyers flooded the ice with hats after Hartnells 2nd goal. Idiots...

Posted by: SA-Town | December 20, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Also...I was at the game.

Verizon Center is easily louder.

Posted by: SA-Town | December 20, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Johnson came back to earth. Most people have to figure that BJ is a good goalie most nights, an excellent goalie other nights, and a total dog once in a while. He is still a great backup.

JT sucked rotten eggs again. He is supposed to be a top flight goalie, but he's top flight goat.

Varly needs more work in the minors and he can come up for the playloffs.

If a trade for JT can be made, do it. If a trade can be made for Nylander, do it. They both waste the Cap's precious cap space.

The Caps will come out strong the day after Xmas, garunteed.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | December 20, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

The #1 most depressing thought of this season as a Capitals fan is that we're stuck with a $4.5 million goalie who sucks and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. I was afraid this was gonna happen when we signed him.

Everyone thought I was nuts when I suggested that we just go with Johnson and Varlamov into the season instead of signing a $4.5 million piece of Swiss cheese. However, I was confident that Varlamov could play in the NHL right away after watching him in the RSL all of last season. I don't really wanna say I told you so, but at least so far neither Varlamov nor Theodore have done anything to prove me wrong.

I just wonder how long can the Caps keep going with a goalie that gives us the worst chance of winning. I know we're in a real bind because of the money, but at some point we have to do something or risk pissing a season away. I mean is there anyone at all left at this point that wouldn't be scared out of their mind entering a playoff series with Theo as our #1? Anyone?

Depressing.

Posted by: ranndino | December 20, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

@ SA-Town

"3) Flyers flooded the ice with hats after Hartnells 2nd goal. Idiots..."

That was quite hilarious, although in their defense they thought Carter got his stick on it. On the replay it was very close. Carter's stick was an inch away. It would have been his 3rd.

This is even more amusing because when Hartnell did actually get his hat trick there were almost no hats left to throw.

Posted by: ranndino | December 20, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

ranndino:
Good point. I suppose that is one of the benefits of being female?!? ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 20, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Boo! -- I've met females with both major cajones & no brains!

Posted by: uncatim | December 20, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

uncatim:
Oh nice! LOL!! As long as you are not directing that at me ...

GMs vote for most coveted players (boo hiss):
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=252046

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 20, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Certainly not you,Boo!

Posted by: uncatim | December 20, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

@ Randino,
Either you simply can't comprehend the written word too well, or you're so emotionally F --- up that you've completely lost hold of your senses ( assumming you have any ). At NO TIME HAVE I EVER QUESTIONED BRASH'S GUTS. N E V E R!! Go back and read it again. I'll be waiting for an apology, which I'm sure will NEVER COME. Moron!!

Posted by: Puckguru | December 20, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Oops, I apologize. My previous post was meant for that emotional idiot, lamplighter 1. My bad.

Posted by: Puckguru | December 20, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

I was up there, and the building was pretty lound. It only seemed quiet for a while becasue we had the puck so much. Kidna hard to make a lot of noise when your team is always on the D.

Ugly ugly ugly game, and if I may say the refs did a horrid job. There is no way that the hip check Mike Green threw in the third period was anything close to a penalty. That one and one other phantom holding penalty both lead to goals and I put those two goals on the refs. I know this game was a tough asignment with all the fights and hard play, but they failed miserably.

As for #10, he tried his best. He lost his footing towards the end and couldn't get back up after that. I also feel the need to sya that the team didn't seem to quit the game. I've seen them quit before and they kept the fight up all the way to the end. I hope they can put this behind them, pummel the Rags on Tuesday and then destroy Philly in our house.

Posted by: EricS2 | December 21, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Pfew ... dodged another one!! ;-)

Brett Leonhardt made nhl.com:
http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=399130

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Puckguru- I'm just going to assume that you didn't read anything that I posted earlier. You couldn't have. Nothing I wrote was emotional, or attacked you personally. In fact, if you had read the posts, I stated that I normally agree with and enjoy your posts and the level of knowledge that you bring to the board. You're right. You never did say he didn't have guts. I didn't either. Heres what you did say:

Basically, they all behaved as though nothing ever happened. And, they call themselves, "Men?" I don't think so.

-and-

Simply put, that's the law of the jungle. It's called, "Survival." No REAL MAN needs to be reminded of that. It's instinctive!!

-and-

You're right. I wasn't there at The Phone Booth. I didn't need to be. I saw all that mattered. NO ONE CAME TO SASHA'S AID. A good 10 seconds after the incident, OV RELUCTANTLY skated by and PUSHED somebody

-or-

Guys screaming and hollering at each other from their respective benches certainly doesn't impress me either. That sounds like something most girls would do. And, don't even mention Brashear. He can't protect an entire team full of wimps. Heck, he wasn't even on the ice when it happened. NO! One of those chunps that was ON THE ICE WHEN IT HAPPENED, was supposed to drop his gloves and DROP THE NEAREST ST. LOUIS BLUE. If you couldn't get to the culprit, ANY BLUE WOULD DO! But, you certainly don't stand around like cowards.

I would think that this illustrates that there was, on your part, an implicit attempt to attack the manhood of the Caps players.

Again, you are right, you never said Brashier didn't have "guts" and I never said you did. If you read my post, I was more dissapointed that you formed your opinion while not being able to see everything that was happening on the ice at Verizon. That is ignoring facts that you couldn't have knowledge of, that EVERYONE who was there have mentioned.

If you read the entire post, you will see that it was never a matter of personally attacking you for your opinion. It was a matter of you putting out your opinion when you did not have all the information. And I'm sorry, but I wont apologize for what I posted. It is two opinions. Mine was formed from watching the action in the building and you, unfortunately were not able to go to the game.

FYI...here is how my post started:

OK...I want to start by saying that normally, I agree with, and enjoy 99.9% of your posts. You bring a true depth of knowledge to the board with what you have to say. BUT....with this instance, you are as WRONG as wrong can be. And the comments about not being there are flat out ignorant

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 21, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Guru- I forgot about this:

An emotion is a term for a mental and physiological state associated with a wide variety of feelings, thoughts, and behavior. Emotions are subjective experiences, or experienced from a individual point of view. Emotion is often associated with mood, temperament, personality, and disposition. The English word 'emotion' is derived from the French word émouvoir. This is based on the Latin emovere, where e- (variant of ex-) means 'out' and movere means 'move'.[1] The related term "motivation" is also derived from movere.


So...emotion, not having anything to do with intelligence or an ability to comprehend something, how am I an emotional idiot? Just because someone see's a situation differently than you, doesn't make that person an idiot. If that was the case, than the folks that posted this morning in reference to what you wrote, are all idiots as well since they too, did not agree with what you wrote. And, by the way, most of those folks who disagreed began by mentioning that they were in fact, at the Verizon and saw many of the same things I mentioned.

Additionally, I posted photo's of the fracas for people to look at so they could see what was happening in and around the situation as it developed. Again, had you read the posts, you would have had a chance to view the photo's before riping my inteligence, or lack there of in your posts.

I welcome your thoughts

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 21, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

No sweat. The Caps will get revenge soon. This was just a wake up call that makes sure our heads dont get to big. They have to play physical to beat Philly. The finesse stuff doesnt work. It took us a few games to realize that in the playoffs. Think we forgot that today.

Posted by: hank7216 | December 21, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

@ EricS2

The Green call was a good penalty call. He stuck his hip out and Sbisa went around him and at the last second Green put his leg out.
so it was a trip

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 21, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

The decision to send a goalie down that's playing great is wrong.

Tinkering with chemistry is absolutely retarded, hope this does not continue into a slump.

Posted by: LarryDavid | December 21, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Think of it this way though..lets say Varly didnt get sent down. Johnson gives up 3 goals on 13 shots and Varly comes in and struggles with the Flyers. It could kill his confidence and he might not be the same goalie.

If you look at the history of Nitty on Philly, he was brought up for a few games and played wonderful when he was younger, but then sent down. He played great the year after the lockout and then Philly had that real bad season, he really hasnt been the same since. You've got to take it easy with young goalies. Not everyone is going to turn into a Roy, Brodeur, or a Tom Barasso

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 21, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

I guess if Ov went after somebody and got his jaw broken(i think he's only been in 2 fights in his nhl career?) Puckguru would of had something smart to say about that too. Ovechkin wasnt given all that money to drop his gloves, thats what Brashear is getting paid to do. The fact that nobody wanted to fight him isnt his fault.

Posted by: ludeman95 | December 21, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Has Ovechkin registered a single fighting major in the NHL ?

The Philly guys talked so much trash, this beating is not about 1 game, it's about how the group responds.

Posted by: LarryDavid | December 21, 2008 2:49 AM | Report abuse

Johnson is one of the best goalies in the league, who just happened to have had a bad game. Don't believe it? Check his games log. Only twice has he allowed more than 3 goals this year, 4 against the Islanders and 7 against San Jose. And that game against SJ was a complete team failure. Take those two games out of the equation and his Save% would put him on a very elite company.

Some of the top goalies allowing more than 3 goals:

JOHNSON: 1 game with 7 GA, 1 game with 4 GA
Niittymaki: 3 - 5 GA, 1 - 4 GA
Price: 2 - 6 GA, 2 - 4 GA
Luongo: 1 - 6 GA, 1 - 5 GA, 2 - 4 GA
Huet: 1 - 6 GA, 3 - 4 GA
Backstrom: 1 - 6 GA, 2 - 4 GA
Khabibulin: 1 - 5 GA, 3 - 4 GA
Anderson: 1 - 5 GA, 1 - 4 GA
Smith: 6 - 4 GA
Fernandez: 3 - 4 GA

That was not a complete list, but as you can see Johnson has not had as many bad games as some of the others. To put it a better way: Everybody have bad games. AND, my point is: A bad game does not make a bad goalie.

Posted by: x1232 | December 21, 2008 3:50 AM | Report abuse

our goaltending is terrible. Neither one of the 2 backups we attempt to start can keep us in a tight game. The goals were weak tonight and as has been the case, first or second shot goes in. now, the Flyers own us. Until Varmalov is deemed ready by GMGM this will be the story of this team. all offense,no defense. inconsistent play in the net is killing us. Varmalov as good as he looked,played against teams that had played the night before. He did not let us down as the other 2 backups have done all year. If the New York game is the same(no reason to think it will change) then I see no reason to keep giving them chances. Time and Time again we have been soft in goal. In order to win in the NHL you must be able to stay in the game and we have not proven up to that task. we have not shown that we can win a game in which we don't score more that 1 or 2 goals.

Posted by: ergoroc | December 21, 2008 4:09 AM | Report abuse

Fedorov's hurt, comes back, plays a couple of games,hurts the same injury again, misses even more time.
Semin's hurt, comes back, plays a couple of games, hurts the same injury again, misses even more time.
Poti's hurt, comes back, plays a couple of games,hurts the same injury again, misses even more time.
Do I see a pattern here? Is it that hard to figure out that injured players should fully heal up before they get into games again? Otherwise they will be injured again and miss even more time. Like with Clark last season: he came back too early and because of that missed the whole damn season. The Caps have no one to blame for the constant rash of injuries but themselves. Playing injured players will lead to injuries. You'd think they'd learn eventually but oh no, right now they're playing Green and Theodore injured. So it's only a matter of time till those guys are out again. Keep that up Caps and keep wondering why guys are leaving the game at the 3 minute mark...Because they never should have played in the first place!

Posted by: binnenreim | December 21, 2008 4:34 AM | Report abuse

@ lamplighter 1,
I just got around to reading your post from 12 - 20 @ 11:56am. I'm impressed. Not only by your passion, but by your articulation as well. Kudos. Having said that ( And it was certainly meant as a compliment ), I'm sorry, but I see no contradiction between being a die - hard Caps fan ( Which I've been since their inception ) and criticizing / bringing them to task when I think it's warranted. Once one relinquishes his ability to be critical when necessary, he/she should no longer be considered a, "Fan," but rather "A mindless, good - for - nothing TROLL."
I expressed my opinion. Which I'm just as entitled to as you are to yours. The difference is that I will not lower myself to YOUR LEVEL by resorting to mindless accusations, and name calling.
From MY PERSPECTIVE, the Caps are replete with a roster FULL OF GUYS WITH NO INCLINATION TO PHYSICALLY STAND UP FOR THEMSELVES, OR THEIR TEAM MATES. And, in MY VERNACULAR, dear buddy, those type of guys are referred to as Wimps, cowards, sissies, and a whole lot worse!! Correct me if I'm wrong pal, but for the life of me, I can't recall one single, solitary time when Eric Fehr, Nick Backstrom, Victor Kozlov ( The biggest wimp of them all --- HANDS DOWN ), Tomas Fleishman, Nystrom, S. Morrison, Schultz ( Another TRUE WIMP ), Poti, or this new guy Alzner have EVEN LOOKED LIKE THEY WOULD THROW A PUNCH. EVER!!! Dear lord! I just named HALF THE TEAM!! I've seen Steckel drop the gloves once ------ when he came to Borque's aid. Laich once, maybe twice ------ IN THREE YEARS I'M TALKING!! Ov once. Now, if that doesn't qualify as being a team full of wimps, then please, pardon me.
As I've said before, The Donald shouldn't be expected to fight the entire roster's battles. That's blatantly ludicrous! If they were real men, they wouldn't be expecting that anyway. Real men fight THEIR OWN battles. I learned that before I entered Kindergarten. Didn't you?

Posted by: Puckguru | December 21, 2008 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Everybody forgets Varlamov lost to the worst team in the AHL before his call up.

Posted by: sporttraveler | December 21, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

@puckguru

wrong, wrong, wrong. You're not labeled as troll because of your negative opinion about the Caps. Everybody's entitled to their opinion (although yours and Cheef's are really boring after a while, same old blind anger at the same things, always when the team losses... shees)

You fit the troll profile because of your insults, to the team and to the board. Because of your language. Because of your patronizing, know-it-all, we-the-rest are all stupid pansies attitude. But most of all for your lack of respect and common courtesy that permeate all your post.

Posted by: mauree | December 21, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

@binnenreim - I'm seeing the pattern, but Semin did not "hurt himself" - he took an uncalled cross-check to the lower back. One that I am still - several days later - too pissed off about to re-watch the incident. Other than that? Agreed. I've been saying for a while that they need to put Fedorov on long-term injured reserve to make the man SIT DOWN and stop trying to be 20 years old again.

@everyone else (trolls aside): I was there. We outskated the heck out of them. Our goaltender Johnny was having an off night. Niittymaki or however you spell it was standing on his head - on pointe - on his fingertips - on his backside - and STILL making saves. He saved their butts last night, and I think they know it.

On a side note, the Bears played very well last night, notching a 4-2 win over the Devils. They looked really good. Machesney was in goal for us, rather than Varlamov, but I was still impressed.

I'm just glad people aren't upset by this one. I'm not. :) We'll get them come January 6th.

Posted by: irockthered | December 21, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Re: Varlamov - He needs to stay where he is. He needs to get used to the North American style of hockey. To the schedule. The kid is fantastic. And if we bring him up too soon, we will ruin him. It's not worth it. It just isn't.

Theodore is, and has always been, a placeholder. That is ALL he is. I'm going to hold onto that knowledge like a talisman. The Caps were his last, best chance, and he is blowing it left, right and center. Johnson, I will forgive a bad night. Have already forgiven. But Theodore needs to get his schtick together, and fast, or face the AHL next season.

Posted by: irockthered | December 21, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I think we all just have to forget about it, it was a very bad game but just like everyone is stating, every team has bad games once in a while (Sharks vs Red Wings, Pens vs Leafs) We WILL beat the Flyers!! JANUARY 6, 2009

Posted by: rachel216 | December 21, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

mauree:
Nailed it.

Puckguru:
Not every player in the NHL fights. Teams hire enforcers for a reason - everyone knows that (we know that, the enforcers know that, the other players know that, msnagement knows that). Frankly, I don't want every player fighting - the thought of Ovie getting hurt and having to miss games because of a fight makes me shudder. Those guys find other ways to get back at those who deserve it; always have, always will. And, BTW, I was at the Blues game - Ovie and the other guys did come to Sasha's defence. Maybe not in ways that made you happy, but once they figured out what was going on, they were on it. Would you have preferred that someone had dropped the gloves in the last five without a willing combatant and ended up with a suspension and fines? That would have been just stupid. I think they handled themselves just fine.

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

In defense of Shaone Morrisonn (and at risk of feeding the troll) ...

Morrisonn went after NYR's Colton Orr a couple years ago after Orr cross-checked Ovechkin across the face.

Didn't Morrisonn also go after a Flyer last season in the playoffs when Mike Green received a cheap shot?

Posted by: Cerealman | December 21, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

@Cerealman: it was the other way around, Green went after a Flyer who hit Mo (who had a broken jaw at the time)

Posted by: honed | December 21, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Handicapping that game you knew the caps would lose on the road after getting their W/L record to an even 20-10 and after Boswell jumped on the Bandwagon. As far as Semin let hime be healthy for the playoffs. Philly better get a goon to protect Cote in the next matchup because Im sure the Donald will be looking for some pay back.

Posted by: rockbroker | December 21, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Nitty was NHL's performer of the night.

Wow, Clutterbuck had a fight, a hefty hit without a lid on and a little smack talk on the ice last night. Guess our little Clutterbuck is all grown up!

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

ranndino- obviously varlamov might have saved those shots. The point is, if he was in for a shelling it would not have helped hiscongidenve. going down on top was a good thing. that's all I'm saying. would he have been better than theo? yes.

Posted by: oo7 | December 21, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

puckguru- I do believe that you and I are actually saying the same thing. I welcome and enjoy that there are different opinions expressed here. I'm sure that everyone see's the same situation differently at times. If you read the recaps of a game in the Post and then the Washington Times, sometimes you would think that Tarik and Corey were watching different games. It doesn't make either one right or wrong, it just gives a different insight into what happened.

All I'm saying is, that in life, there are plenty of chances to disagree but there is not a need or a cause to insult someone for having a different opinion. Thats all.

If you took anything that I wrote as a personal attack, for that I am truely sorry. I try to be a little general or intentionaly vague so that I DON'T offend someone or that they think it was a personal slight.

I'm sure you and I, or myself and others will disagree again in the future. However, there is never a reason to name-call or attack those we disagree with. I think we can both be on the same page with that.

Thanks for actually reading what I post. It brings a little happiness to my days interacting with the people that I have "met" through this forum. It also must mean that from time to time, I have an insight that some one liked.

@ Mauree, Boo, kitty, and Rock- Thank you also for coming to my defense. I'm glad that you did not think that I was trying to attack anyone personally.

I hope what comes accross mostly, is an attempt to bring a little levity and humor to the board while we celebrate or cringe at what our beloved lads are doing on the ice, to help offer a diversion from the drudgery of what is around us all the time. My main goal is to try and get a laugh or a smile out of those that read my contributions. Sarcastic sometimes, though they may be.

My addage has always been to try to find the humor or the silver lining in anything. Life is too short. And it gets shorter every day.

Thanks again, and I hope to mix it up with you all again.

Have a nice morning. The coffee is ready!

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 21, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

We need to send Jose to the AHL and bring in Varlamov. He is a better goalie and wants to win, JT is a JOKE and has been all year, Johnson is a good back-up but he is not a stanley cup type goalie. WE NEED Varlamov and that would make our team. How can you expect a team to work as hard as the caps do shot 30 in the 1st and have the goalie give up BS goals. come on lets get wiht it, I am a seanson ticket holder and it is time we demad the return of a great gaolie....

Posted by: tpatton2 | December 21, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Lighten up Francis.

Posted by: Section117 | December 21, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Lamp:
Dude, don't take anything that he says personally. He'll attack just about anyone - he's been doing so for years. I've been on the receiving end a couple of times myself, despite the fact that I was right. ;-) Most of us are pretty happy go lucky and come here for the same reasons that you do - to have an enjoyable exchange about the game and team that we love, not to do battle. That does not mean that we always agree, but at least most of us know how to disagree in a respectful manner (debate = good; attack = bad). Sometimes we have to agree to disagree and simply move on - no big deal. So don't sweat it and just hang with the rest of us, ignoring those who don't play well with others.

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Star 1, 2 & 3......The Donald!!!! There are a lot of Donald-haters on Hockey Fights.com (and sometimes here, too). I will be interested to see what they have to say, but Brash-Cote#1 has to be THE beatdown of the year!!!

Posted by: KSlayton | December 21, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

also, BJ & JT aside; there is PLENTY of room for criticism of our D yesterday. I don't think i have seen a game recently where the D leaves the goalie out to dry so many times. get out of your Lambo, Mikie, and play some defense!! you are a defenseman, right????

Posted by: KSlayton | December 21, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

This game pained me beyond belief. We will see after the 6th, but like Pittsburgh for so many years, it seems the Flyers are getting in the head of the Caps, And it amazes me that no one has pointed out that all of the first period shots (with a few exceptions) were routine wristers. Am I missing someting or were the Caps afraid to get into the fray close to the crease.

Also, the fact that Hartnell got a hat trick made my blood absolutely boil. I have not forgotten, and neither should all Caps fans and players, what he did after the playoff final game last year. His skating to the corner of the ice after the line-up handshake and waving, while mouthing "Bye Bye" to the Caps fans, was one of the most taunting classless things I have ever seen.

Posted by: eyechip | December 21, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Cool story by John Walton, radio voice of the Hershey Bears:

http://johnwaltonhockey.blogspot.com/2008/12/20-minutes-in-heaven.html

Posted by: uncatim | December 21, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Hey, some of you guys are going at it pretty hard. I feel your frustration. At least the Pens lost and in a big way and at home. Sid the Kid hasn't scored in a long time. January 6th should be fun.

Posted by: EsaTikkanen | December 21, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I can't seem to find anything today from the guy who was all over here yesterday (windyammer or something) looking forward to watching the Cowboys last night. Wonder how that worked out for him?

Posted by: Kellyinbalto | December 21, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Here is some interesting news:

http://www.onfrozenblog.com/2008/12/21/washington-is-indeed-asking-around-about-goalies.html

Is GMGM going to try and get trade going anytime soon?

Posted by: minicoop828 | December 21, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Coach said it best: you play your heart out for 20+ minutes and the other team is ahead by a goal, it's hard to keep it going for two more periods. I don't know about the rest of you, but I knew by the look on Ovi's face after Nittymaki had stymied him for the umpteenth time that he was running out of triple espresso. The second goal killed them, not because it was insurmountable, but because all their efforts until that point were futile. They didn't know what else to do. After that, they just went through the motions.

I'm new to this post - been lurking for a while - and wanted to say I really appreciate the level of analysis the contributors provide. Also wanted to say that I don't enjoy comments which call the team wimps, cowards and sissies. Whatever the measure of a real man might be, physical courage is something we see on the ice night after night with these guys.

Posted by: RedRocker1 | December 21, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I went to the game yesterday and then drove to Hershey for the Bears game. (Hockey road trip!) Here's my take and thoughts, and it sums up as "Some days you get the bear and some days the bear gets you."

I was satisfied by what I saw from the skaters. No, our D was not perfect. It's unreasonable to expect them to be. If Green wasn't out of position sometimes, we'd all wonder who the hell was wearing #52 out there. Sometimes, your goalie just has to make the great saves, especially in Boudreau's system. We know that about our style and it's okay. You want to talk atrocious D in that game? Look to the orange and black for that, my friend. Their Dmen weren't much more than pylons for the first half of the game. They got a little better, but not much. The Caps played their asses off in the first and slowed down a little in the second. I think the Dmen were exhausted by the third and that explains the SOG in the third. Stuff happens.

We got the enforcement we were looking for, and how. Cote is an idiot, and one day he's going to learn that Brash will hand his butt to him every time. (I will be very sad on the day that happens.) Not only that, but the whole team stomped the Flyers every time they tried something cheap. I was impressed. I think they got the message. Let's hope it stays with them.

Niittymaki saved their heinies - had both goalies had an average game for them based on their career SV%, they would have been destroyed. Now, I just hope they're foolish enough to think their skaters played well, because they didn't really.

Every goalie has a bad game now and then, as others have said. We played our butts off and ran rings around them in the first and part of the second. Goal was not happening for us yesterday, and so be it. Maybe losing to the Flyers was the karmic price for the Varlamov win in Montreal. I thought he was living a charmed life out there. :)

No worries. If we bring that same game to the Rangers and Johnson has a better day (he's generally consistent), we'll be back in the saddle.

Also, Flyers fans in specific and Philadelphians in general are jerks o.0 Wow.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 21, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SA-Town | December 21, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Found some interesting stats regarding the Caps fighters over the last couple of years and thought I'd pass it on. Some of these names really make you smile, don't they!

2003-2004 Regular Season Fighting Majors Leaders
Rank Player Fight Totals
Back to team page
1 Stephen Peat 11
2 Darcy Verot 10
3 Jason Doig 7
4 Rick Berry 5
5 Matt Pettinger 3
6 Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre 2
7 Garret Stroshein 2
8 Brian Sutherby 2
9 Trent Whitfield 2
10 Steve Eminger 1
11 Brad Norton 1
12 Brendan Witt 1
13 Dwayne Zinger

2005-2006 Regular Season Fighting Majors Leaders
Rank Player Fight Totals
Back to team page
1 Matt Bradley 8
2 Chris Clark 4
3 Ben Clymer 4
4 Nolan Yonkman 4
5 Doug Doull 3
6 Jeff Halpern 3
7 Brendan Witt 3
8 Steve Eminger 1
9 Shaone Morrisonn 1
10 Matt Pettinger 1
11 Louis Robitaille 1
12 Brian Sutherby 1
13 Brian Willsie


2006-2007 Regular Season Fighting Majors Leaders
Rank Player Fight Totals
Back to team page
1 Donald Brashear 14
2 Matt Bradley 5
3 John Erskine 5
4 Brian Sutherby 4
5 Chris Clark 2
6 Ben Clymer 2
7 Shaone Morrisonn 2
8 Bryan Muir 2
9 Steve Eminger 1
10 Jamie Heward 1
11 Brooks Laich 1
12 Alexander Ovechkin


2007-2008 Regular Season Fighting Majors Leaders
Rank Player Fight Totals
Back to team page
1 Donald Brashear 12
2 Matt Bradley 10
3 John Erskine 4
4 Dave Steckel 2
5 Chris Clark 1
6 Brooks Laich 1
7 Shaone Morrisonn 1
8 Matt Pettinger 1
9 Brian Sutherby 1

Man....never realized that Brads likes to throw down that much. I found some of this interesting. Hope you do to. Also QUITE relevent given that I'm about to hit Best Buy to finish my shopping!

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 21, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Amended: It does suck that it had to come due in the Flyers game, but ... mama said there'd be days like these. Enh, FISHDO. (F* it, S* happens, drive on.)

I guess what I'm afraid of is that the guys are going to decide that there was no point in playing their hearts out and go sloppy against the Rangers, and if that happens, we will get toasted. I'd say to them, don't give up, with the exception of the goalies you played great and you did it right. It just wasn't in the cards and that's no reason to give up.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 21, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

lamp:
Oh yeah, Brads is a fighter ... more like a scrappy alley cat than an enforcer; he's gritty. In fact, didn't he break his hand in a fight last season?

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

@x123
Your point is well taken, and I agree.

To those who loves the fighting aspects of hockey: Google "ufc" and "wwe", you will find what you like.

Just because a guy has better sense than to jump in a stupid, useless fracas, does not make him a wimp - some might consider it a smart thing to do.

Posted by: opita | December 21, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Well said Kitty... although you're too easy on Green. I think he was really terrible out there, not only on the goals but throughout the game. Probably because he had to play so many minutes.

Frustrating how furious pressure doesn't always results in a goal. After a few shifts like the ones we put up in the first, the other teams adapt and wait for the one and only chance they'll get... and score. Maybe "rest" (as in play not in their end zone, controlling the puck in the middle) a couple of shifts between the constant attacks would be better?

Posted by: mauree | December 21, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

minicoop:
I like Khabibulin! I don't hate Nyls like a lot of people here do, but I would not miss him if we got Khabibulin for him.

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday really sucked, and being in the stands and taunted by the Philly fans wasn't much fun either. But if you go to Center Ice right now and take a look at Cote (flyers are playing the devils this afternoon), it will help ease the pain. He looks like a raccoon with two black eyes and a red chin.

Brash -- I love you. Let's Go Devils.

Posted by: bubblegirl1 | December 21, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

It's still December right? just checking because some of you are acting like the season ended with that loss.

Posted by: The_Spear | December 21, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

T’was the week before Christmas, and all through the town.
Cap’s fans were sad, cuz the boys let us down
The fans were all nestled, snug in their chairs.
In hopes that Lord Stanley, soon would be there.

When down on the ice, there arose such a clatter!
I sprang from my seat, to see what was the matter.
Down to the ice, I ran like a flash! And smooshed my face up,
Firmly, to the glass.

Spot lights from above, illuminated the sight
That made all the fans, squeal with delight.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear?
Why, a flashy young goalie, and all of his gear!

With a glove hand so smooth, and movements so quick
I knew in an instant!!
It must be Saint Nick (oli Khabibhulin)

Now Ovie!! Now Greenie!! Now Brash and Semin!!
Just Believe in coach Boudreu and you boys will keep winnin’
From the SouthEast Division, to East Conference champs,
This team will be skating, in the big dance!

He sprang to his crease, and he gave out a whistle!

Then I heard him exclaim, after victory that night.
Don’t worry guys….The cup is in sight!


Happy Holidays to everyone here. Have a nice, safe and happy week.

Tom

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 21, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

lamp:
Bravo, sir. Well played! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

@lamplighter1: You win one (1) Capitals blog. :D

Also, for those of you worried about grit and sandpaper still (hint: you shouldn't be. It's there, it just hides until needed and sometimes a little too long) - the Bears game ended with an ice-clearing brawl that even got the linesman trying to break it up socked a couple of times. Hell, Machesney stepped in (and took a penalty for it). It ended up with the Bears on the short side of a 5-on-3 penalty kill, but when there's 15 seconds left in the third and you're two goals up, it doesn't matter. :) Great stuff to watch, though I was on the other side of the rink from it.

Pinner can't fight, though. :(

Posted by: kittypawz | December 21, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@lamplighter1
Very well done.

I'm off to Hershey for the Bears & Lake Erie, hoping Varly is in goal tonight. Just a random observation from last night's Bears game...I sit near the Bears bench and have often remarked how the backup goalie sits there and shows little or no emotion through the game. Guess they're trying to keep that game-face mode in case they get called on to play. Well, last night Machesney was in goal so Varly was on the bench. Machesney made a really nice stop on a Devils breakaway, and I looked down at the bench and saw Varly applauding. We love this kid! I know you are all anxious to have him in DC fulltime, but we'd like to keep him in Hershey a little while longer, please.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 21, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Very nice, lamp

Posted by: elicea | December 21, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

@mauree: The breakaway was the only mistake I saw that was really egregious, and like you said, too many minutes = mistakes. Green is a high-risk/high-reward player and gets out of position a lot, which is why his partner has to be experienced and solid as a rock positionally, else you get breakaways like that.

I was okay with that, truthfully. Sometimes your goalie has to bail you out, and there was no bailing by the goalies yesterday.

Enh, FISHDO. Let's talk about the Rangers. Now THAT's a game I think we have to win - if we talk Eastern Conference standings, that's a four-point game for us if we're talking about chasing #2 seed. It's also a confidence thing. We've taken the Rangers before and we can do it again - this time we have to do it in their house.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 21, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

About the brawl...people in my section counted 8 devils on the ice during that mess. Can't understand how Lowell didn't get a 'too many men' penalty.

Posted by: tess2201 | December 21, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

@tess2201: You were much closer to the brawl than I was - draw a line from the Bears bench through Machesney's crease, and that's where I was sitting last night, a little ways back, so I couldn't count them. Now that I think about it, though, you could well be right. Lord knows they were giving out penalties enough, and at least two guys from each team got ejected from the game.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 21, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

@tess2201: About Varlamov - I'm in no hurry. I want him up here when he is ready to play in the NHL, and not before. As wonderful as he was in those two games, he was living a charmed life in the first game, and I clearly see where the D was really solid in front of him. If his D isn't solid, I don't know that he would have done that well - D can make a goalie look really good sometimes. (Too bad it didn't happen Saturday morning.) I don't want to rush him, I don't want a repeat of Jim Carey.

If we do make a trade between now and the deadline it will be for a goalie. What do we do with Theodore, though? Send him down?

Posted by: kittypawz | December 21, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

RE Nylander for Kabbibulin

2 things that goes against this. Nylander has said that no one has come to him and asked for him to waive his NTC. And what would we do with Theodore?

Posted by: elicea | December 21, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

elicea:
Ya never know - Nyls may agree. And they'll find something creative to do with the Beaver. Besides, we need another Russian ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

@elicea: I'm no expert, and I don't know what GMGM is thinking, but a couple of thoughts:

I had initially thought that Theodore had until the end of the season to get himself figured out. His timeline just got shortened like whoa, I'm afraid, if he's even got one and it isn't too late already. Trade deadline at the latest, and probably not that long.

My only-partly-educated guess: We buy Theodore's contract out, trade Nylander and a pick (or a bag of pucks) for a goalie at the deadline, and make a playoff run with that goalie like we did last year. Either Johnson or said other goalie leaves via free agency, and Varlamov is brought up for next season. We go next season with Varlamov and whichever other goalie sticks around. I don't know if we can afford Khabibulin, though - my instinct says no.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 21, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Devils beat Flyers in a shootout..

I really hate having a shootout to end a hockey game.

Here we go...In baseball lets just have a homerun derby if its tied after 10 innings.
Lets have a field goal competition to end a football game.
Lets have a 3 point shooting contest to end a basketball game.

I really hope the league takes away that gimmick in the near future. That an a point for making it to OT. No win, no point.
do a 10 minute 4 on 4 OT and if there is no winner, then give them both the point for the tie.

such a bad way to end a game, it really is.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 21, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

stevo just got back from a rough trip up to philly....the only good thing was the first donald fight happened about 20 feet in front of me and it looked worse in person than on youtube

I got two empty beer cups thrown at me while using the restroom

annnnnnd a philly fan told me to lose with dignity to which i responded "sorry but the day a philly fan tells me to do something with dignity and I do it....is the day i get a bottle of scotch and shoot myself in the head" they didn't like that comment too much

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Why did you refer to yourself in 3rd person?

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 21, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

also on the philly trip....whenever someone would heckle me, I would say "happy holidays" which they seemed not to understand as a way of saying F you

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

stevo likes his chicken spicy.............it's a seinfled joke

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Growing up in Southern California a Kings fan and going through the Gretzky era I see parallels with the Caps and trying to build a Stanley Cup Contender. The Ducks finally got it done by adding depth at all positions and having a strong combination of young upstarts with stalwart veterans. Suffering a horrible Ducks year last year, I was instantly captivated by the Caps turnaround and end of year run, which was easily one the most exciting in NHL history.

Having my heart ripped out by Lupul's Game 7 overtime goal last year, I think the huge reaction on this board to the Phili drumming brings back those feelings in all of us. How ironic that it was Lupul that scored the first goal yesterday!

With regards to this season, the injuries have really taken a toll on the ability of the Caps to sustain consistency of their lines. That lack consistency carries through to the goalies as well. This idea that because we paid all this money for JT we HAVE to play him and MAKE him number 1 is a joke. It's like buying a stock at 100, watching it drop to 85 buying more and just expecting it to come back. The fact that the Caps are in first place shows that they have the WILL to win no matter what the conditions.

But to win rounds in the Stanley Cup playoffs and then win The Cup the Caps are going to need a solid number 1 Goalie, and I think we all agree that JT is NOT it. Additionally, we absolutely need a strong, tough, veteran defenseman- maybe two of them. Green and Poti can't carry all the load because competitive teams will get scoring from their second and third lines. Granted Alzner is playing great on the plus/minus side of things, but there is no substitute experience. Federov is the inspirational Veteran for the Offense, we need the same type of anchor from a defenceman as well.

The Ducks got beat by Pronger and then they got him. I wouldn't be opposed to adding Timo Timmonen to the Caps blue line. What are your thoughts?

Posted by: CaliforniaCapsFan | December 21, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

@ irockthered: I agree, that was definitely a foul and just a horrible non-call by the refs. I don't think though that that cross check would have knocked Semin from the game had he been 100% healthy. You could just see it in his shot that he wasn't. Most of the time he elected to pass instead of shooting and when he did shoot there just wasn't a lot of mustard on it.
The Caps are gonna ruin this season if they keep on playing the injured guys, because by the time the playoffs roll around nobody will be healthy. They need to sit guys like Fedorov and others down and force them to heal if there's no other way.

Posted by: binnenreim | December 21, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

stevo, capsfan, SA and co.:
I admire you for setting foot in the place! I imagine that it is never easy, but it must have been even tougher yesterday. I'm curious, was it as bad as legend has it? Also, were you wearing Caps gear? Some day I may make the journey up there, but I certainly won't wear a prized sweater when/if I do!! :-)

BTW, stevo, while I don't mind the whole 3rd person thing (and did it myself just Friday), JSchon does fine for that ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

i did wear my caps gear...my black big john erskine jersey ( he's been on a winning streak so I choose that over red matt bradley) and i was with my buddy who lives in philly and he was wearing a white brashear jersey......so he got a lot of jazz from phlly fans

going to away games no matter how hostile the environment is probably my favorite thing to do, I highly recommend it

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

oh yeah @boo

i can and usually with philly is usually is as bad as advertised, but then again most of philly fans are idiots so with some intellect* you can pretty much shut them up


and a lot of them where sweatpants to the games, never seen so many

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

oh and im glad someone doesnt mind the third person thing, i usually dont do that but i ended up in a seinfeld quote contest last night and it musta sliped into stevo's brain

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

steve:
"A lot of them where sweatpants to the games." LOL! I don't know why that strikes me as funny, but it does. Well you've inspired me - maybe I will see you up there for the next one. :-) In the meantime I am planning to go to the Canes game with a friend who lives in NC. That should be fun, but not nearly as hostile (consider it a training wheels game).

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Sorry - I meant to write stevO :-) And don't worry about it - Boo does not mind!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Couple things I noticed from the Philly game:

1) The Phone Booth is WAY too warm. I dressed the way I usually do for a hockey game, and I was freezing my tuchas off. By contrast, in the same clothes, I am comfortable in the Verizon Center. Betcha that has something to do with the rotten ice!

2) Philly fans are RUDE! They went after the referee within the first five minutes of the game, and they booed - on cue - Ovechkin every time he touched the puck, even on a one-touch pass. It was kindof amusing, actually, the way they turned it on and off like that, but I was still annoyed by it. We don't razz enemy players like that... not even Crysby.

I'm not worried about this one. We'll have some of the walking wounded back for the next one, I'm sure, and then the Flyers will wish they never left Philly!

Posted by: irockthered | December 21, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

In trying to understand the love some of the poster have with Khabibulin I followed x123's recomendation and analyzed the games log for both Johnson and Khabibulin.


Comparison, Khabibulin, Johnson, Advantage

Age, 35, 31, J
GA, 39, 40, K
SV%, .922, .916, K
OT/SO loses, 4, 2, J
Games/w 4+GA, 4, 2, J
Team spirit, ??, Yes, J

On the above table I find that Johnson has more pluses. J. has allowed one more goal than K., but K has faced more shots and thus has a better save percentage. But since everyone is entitled to a great or a terrible game, I decided to take the worst and best game statistics out of the equations:

worst game (SA SV %)
J: 28 21 .750
K: 21 18 .857

Best Game (SA SV %)
j: 34 33 .971
k: 23 23 1.000

Adjusted save percent:

Khabibulin
SA: 501 - 21 - 23 = 457
SV: 462 - 18 - 23 = 421
SV%: 421 / 457 = .921

Johnson
SA: 476 - 28 - 34 = 414
SV: 436 - 21 - 33 = 382
SV%: 382 / 414 = .922

As you can see, with this adjustment, J. has better save % than K.
In my opinion, either with or without adjustment, the save % differences are very small, and I don't consider either player have a significant advantage over the other. Having said that, I would never trade Johnson for Khabibulin and my reasons, no necessarily in order of significance, are:
1. age
2. team chemistry
3. consistency base on this years stats
4. head-to-head comparison on various other areas J seem to be the best choice.

Of course, there are other intangibles such as injuries, team play in front of the goalie, etc. etc which have to be considered. By the way, it is because of the intangibles why I did not consider GAA.

I am not a statistical analyst, feel free to disagree and/or correct me where you think I have erred.

Posted by: opita | December 21, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

optia:
I would take Khabibulin over Jose, not Johnny. Take a look at those numbers and then let's chat.

irockthered:
I do think the temp has something to do with the ice; I think Caps fans are coddled and as a result the players suffer. Oh and we do a pretty good job of booing players like Briere, but we have a good reason to! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

oh and the refs basically saved aaron asham's life by not allowing brashear into that third fight (not sure why they broke it up). Asham was backpeddling like a pretty little girl

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

@boo
I don't even have to look at those numbers, I would agree with that trade, but I think I would rather have Johnson and Varlamov primarily because I think that will give Varlamov good experience at the NHL level. I think Johnson still has a couple more good years on him, while Khabibulin maybe one more - of course, that is just speculation on my part.

Posted by: opita | December 21, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

@ irockthered

We do boo Crosby. Most of the time he touches the puck, and we boo the refs and chant 'you suck ref.'

I was at 2 games last year where players were boo'd at the Phone booth and we got all over the ref. It happens everywhere.

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 21, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't the Asham fight been Brashear's 3rd fight, its an automatic game or at least it used to be and maybe a fine. That could have had something to do with it. Refs dont usually jump in like that

Posted by: rdy4all2000 | December 21, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

@opita

A trade for Khabby at the deadline, followed by a one year deal for next year. Let Johnson test the FA market at the end of the season. Bring Varlamov up from Hershey at the beginning of next season.

This scenario would be beneficial for the development of Varly and provide the Caps with a veteran (Russian) and the "future of the organization" (Russian) goaltenders.

Posted by: TrappedinGA | December 21, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

....and try like hell to get rid of Jose.

Posted by: TrappedinGA | December 21, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Optia:
I agree - Bulin would be a bridge and nothing more (i.e. just as Theo is supposed to be).

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

TrappedinGA:
Agree across the board. That could even work if it was extended for a year and Varlamov just came up from time to time next year. We do seem to be the other Russian national team, so it would be a good fit for a number of reasons (not just for Varlamov). Now let's just hope that GMGM reads Tarik's blog! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Al Strachan aside, explain the logic in taking on Khabibulin, who's 3-4 years older than Johnson/Theodore, then hoping you can unload Theodore, or taking the cap hit in buying him out while hoping that Khabibulin will want a one year deal at 33% less than what he's making now, especially with the KHL on his radar.

Calm. Fracking. Down.

Posted by: Section117 | December 21, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

117:
Please. I highly doubt it will happen, but a girl can dream! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I was wearing Caps gear, and I got jazzed for it. It's okay - was part of the fun. Did get a little nervous toward the end - it got a little ugly there, and I did leave early (good thing, too, was almost late to the Hershey game thanks to a tie-up in King of Prussia). Last guy I told before I left jazzed me and I told him "See you in the playoffs, we're still ahead of you in the conference".

We don't boo the refs a whole lot, certainly not as much as Philly does or as quickly. It took a while before we started booing the refs in the St. Louis game.

@opita: I'd take Khabi over Jose, but not necessarily over Johnny. I think the only thing we don't know yet is whether Johnny can play enough games to be considered a #1. I think we trade for Khabi at the deadline, buy Jose's contract out, and run with Khabi/Johnson into the playoffs. As for next season, it'll be Varlamov / somebody, and I'm not especially picky as to who it is, though I admit a fondness for Johnson and I would consider Khabi just another rental like Huet, so sentimentally I'd prefer Johnson.

I think we're on the same page as far as getting rid of Jose for the playoffs is concerned.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 21, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

yeah towards the end of yesterday got pretty dicey, i had a guy that threw a empty cup at me in the bathroom actually say that riley cote beat up the donald and that mike richards is better than Ovie,

i just laughed and told him happy holidays

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

@_stevo: He said that Cote beat up Donald? Which game was he watching, the one in his head? :)

*headshakes* Flyers fans. At least the next game with them is a Tuesday night.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 21, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

stevo:
Did he actually WATCH the game or was he just in the bathroom the entire time?

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Took in the game yesterday and obviously was bummed about (Yes, MON just scored on CAR) the result.

Have to say, was not impressed with the noise level in the bldg. Verizon center has been much louder imho.

@Cheef - you are clueless dude

Posted by: ralCapsFan | December 21, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

yeah he was just an idiot flyers fan being a tool, actually other flyers fans even looked at him funny when he was saying it

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

stevo:
BTW, I was thinking about it ... given your preoccupation with sexy lumberjack, him being out lately, you attending a game yesterday (the first time I have heard you mention going to a game) and wearing his sweater to that game, I was wondering - are YOU Johnny Erskine in disguise?!?

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh and was that guy wearing sweat pants? ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

i just looked at all of riley cote's fights this year on hockeyfights.com and according to the votes he has only won one out of 11, and philly really sucks at fighting

the one bright spot from yesterday

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

@boo

i am not the sexy lumberjack, but an honor to be mention like that. I saw a lumberjack competition on espn2 today on was looking for big john but nowwhere to be found

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

So you're not "the" lumberjack, but you still like flannel, right?

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

flannel...possibly? i do have a great flannel-erskine-lumberjack halloween costume for next year planned though

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Nice! LOL!! :-) Boy, you are quite the planner.

BTW, is it just me or are we in dire need of a new thread? If this keeps up, JSchon will bring the circus back (if so, I hope I get a promotion ...).

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Yeah new thread? i personally dont remember me telling DeNunzio that Tarik or Katie could take the day off....Did you?

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

speaking of DeNunzio...Caddyshack is on one of the Versus channels right now

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Also did the hockey road trip of the Philthy game in the afternoon and the Bears at night.

Even wearing the hockey red only got a few light hearted comments. Ofcourse...when the home team wins 7-1, don't think I saw the real fan behavior.

Bears hockey is great...strongly rcmnd it to everyone to take in a game or two. Kyle Wilson looked good...and nice bro-ha at the end....LOVED IT!

Posted by: ralCapsFan | December 21, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

@steveo

Dude, say it aint so! I may be a rookie here...you really have an Erskine sweater? Argh. Ok, will still respect your opinions :)

Posted by: ralCapsFan | December 21, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

AHHH canes scored!

Posted by: rachel216 | December 21, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

you got it, i have a game worn erskine black jersey ( he my favorite CAP as people on here can attest to)(also came up with the sexy lumberjack nickname), but i do sometimes sport a bradley, backstrom and of course OVIE jersey


Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

also i think Tarik's next poll should be who caps fans hate more: pens or flyers?

always been interested to see what the total numbers would be

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

stevo:
Maybe we should make up our own coverage? Kinda like when Steve R. said Erskine was moving to wing. RE: Caddyshack, I think the golf channel is having a Caddyshack marathon today.

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

@Steveo

Ok, the fact that the lumberjack sweater is game worn helps a bit. Also, maybe the fact that I haven't seen your boy on the ice lately has eased my pain (yesterday's loss asid :) Do hope he gets back as I don't wish injury on anyone (although I had a moment earlier in the year watching Malkin and again watching Cindy's disgusting behavior Thur.)

Posted by: ralCapsFan | December 21, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

FYI...CAR still leading MON in 3rd :(

In response to queries about buying out JT...with Teddy hemorraging (sp) money even if we win, I cannot see this as a real possibility.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | December 21, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Hi all-

Just a little FYI on whats up with the ice at the Verizon. The Verizon happens to be one of my largest accounts and I have had the chance to skate and walk all over that ice.

For starters, Verizon Center is owned by Washington Sports. The same people that own the Wizzards. The Capitals are only a rent paying tenant and do not carry much weight on the operations side of the equation.

The Verizon Center hosts over 300 different events a year. Including the circus, concerts, wrestling and the International Horse show. Not to mention basketball. On many Saturdays, the arena will schedule a Wizzards or Hoyas game in the morning and the Caps at night. Imagine what happens when the arena is prep'd for some of these events. Dirt being trucked in, plywood being placed over the ice, drastic changes in temperature from one day to the next. The ice there never has a chance to set and to rest.

Until Uncle Ted has the chance to purchase the controlling shares in Washington Sports (he retains first refusal upon Mr. Polin's death) the Caps will be seen as the red-headed step children of Verizon. Washington Sports makes a fortune booking the arena and collecting rights fees from all the events. No one at Washington Sports is going to care that the ice stinks or that the building needs to be kept cold, when they are getting millions from Ringling Brothers and Madonna to use the building.

Lastly, alot of the damage has come from all the events being trucked in. There are huge ruts in the ice from installing the concert floors and from laying the plywood for the circus and the horse show. Also, how much heat do you think radiates onto that ice from these events. Elephants and such pooping and walking all over it.

The solution is to rip up the entire sheet and replace the current ice they have. But Washington Sports wont spend the money for that.

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 21, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Man, I wish I'd known that other people were going to do the hockey road trip thing. We should get together and fill a couple of cars sometime. :)

Yeah, the Bears game and a brawl at the end was a good anodyne for Philly. :) First score was the Bears at 11 seconds in the first. Good stuff.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 21, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

i played one of my high school championship games on VC ice and it was probably the worst sheet of ice i have ever played on ( which was 1,3,5,...7 yeah 7 years ago) I know that ted wants it to be better, but i also understand the predicament that Uncle Abe is in.

It just sucks that they just cant come to an agreement to make it better

ps "That Kangaroo just stole my ball!!!!!"

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

@lamplighter1

Thanks soooo much for the post. Very informative and also answers ALOT of questions that seem to be Top Secret within the organization. At the STH chalk talks, everyone asks about this but inevitably are told that there is nothing that can be said on the topic :(

Thanks for the info.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | December 21, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

kitty:
Do you ever do the fan club or road crew trips?

tom the lamplighter:
If you don't mind me asking, what exactly do you do?

stevo:
Is that 7 or 17 or ... ?!? Oh and let's keep it topical - he stole your puck (I don't think Rodney would mind).

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

@kittypawz

Great idea. Sounds like you guys had a blast as well (other than the afternoon debacle). Also was worried about that horrid traffic outside of Philthy.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | December 21, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

@Boo

How would one get info on fan club road trips...saw the Caps fans across the arena and they may have even won a prize (much to the Philly fans disgust)...

Damn...CAR just won in OT :(

Posted by: ralCapsFan | December 21, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

@boo

haha actually if math serves me right it was 7 or 8 years ago (im 25 but still it seems long ago)

and how do you get with the caps road crew?
i have been just doing away games myself so far

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

ralcapsfan:

www.capsfanclub.org
www.capsroadcrew.com

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

yes the caps section actually did win a prize, which was hilarious

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

solid...thanks

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Crap, canes now within 6 points of us. But I'm confident Caps will get it back to 8 by the end of Tuesday.

Posted by: rachel216 | December 21, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

stevo:
See my previous post for the links. I've never done one of them but have heard that they are fun. STHs who sit near my swear by them. I'm going to Carolina on my own (with a friend who lives there), but apparently a lot of people are doing that road trip on the bus (I've heard that the Canes fan club is a good tailgating host). I may try one eventually ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

@Boo
@Steveo

Thanks boys.

Will check out the road trip opps.

Yes,it was amusing to have the Philthy fans cursing around me when the Caps Fans won the the contest.

BTW...I can't stand Hartnell but really wish we had him on our team...hope I am not putting a bullseye on my name now. Seriously, does anyone else not think we need to get our noses dirty. Do I like the guy and his A##hol# antics like he did to us last year, no...but I don't see us matching up very well against them in the playoffs. Not sure.

Posted by: ralCapsFan | December 21, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I can see the points some people are making with regard to exercising caution with Varlamov. I agree that it could be terrible for his self confidence if he had a terrible game, and that he is still untried. But....Unless there is a dramatic turn-around, I think that goal-tending is our weak link when it comes to Stanley Cup ambitions. Don't get me wrong. I have a lot of respect for Johnson but is he adequate? Every team that gets that far has a stellar goal tender. Not a very good one but a stellar one. I just don't think we can get there with the current goalies, unless they are transformed and inspired somewhere down the road.

Varly did have some weak games early on in the AHL. However since Nov. 20 or so, he has been somewhere in the middle or high nineties. We are talking about the last 9 games in the row. He is ranked number #6 this week. He probably would have been a better choice than Theo. At least, they can start playing him occasionally so he can be ready.

Who do you think will get the start on Tues. against the Rangers?

Posted by: caraveli | December 21, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Boo- In a nutshell, I work for a large alcohol distributer in the city. While the company that I work for RNDC-USA, sells to everyone and anyone, I get the fun of dealing with most of the corporate accounts and hotels. Thats why I go to the Capital Grille all the time. Largest wine account in the city. And also most of the players, and BB's favorite place to go. I've gotten real luckey because I've been able to meet most of the guys and gotten to know BB on a personal level by trading him wine and keeping his wine locker at the Grille stocked. For free. Oh...and Greg "Smitty" Smith's father worked for the same company I do now before he retired.

That and a nickle might get you a cup of coffee too!

@Ral, _stevo, Boo and Kitty- I have always wanted to do the road trip thing as well. Thanks for the information. I am game for either going with the fan club or if people wanted to go on their own, I would do that too.

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 21, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to take GMGM and Boudreau's word that Varlamov needs more time. If he's this good now think how good he'll be with the added experience. Varlamov played great, but when it's all said and done I'd rather a great goalie in a few years then a decent goalie now.

Posted by: dcfury | December 21, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh! and I could tell you where the Russian's hang out, but then they would kill me. There also might. Maybe. Rumor has it, but I've never seen it, a nice little poker game that some of the boys get into on their off days.

Not that I've ever been there! ;)

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 21, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

alright i know am going to get some flax for this,but i have been holding off awhile to say this....we need jose

johnson has been playing great, can we win the cup with him...no

theodore is he gets hot (which he can), we can win the cup (dead serious)

the young russian is our future, definetely
if theo is hot and we are healthy i
really really believe we are cup contenders

@lamplighter
we should maybe try to get a caps blog group together to go to a game...thoughts?

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I considered doing some of the road trips with the fan club - the cross-country trips are a bit rich for my blood, but a bus trip to Raleigh sounds like a hoot. :)

Thanks for the info, Boo and stevo. :)

Posted by: kittypawz | December 21, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

lamp:
Sounds like a nice gig ... must be rough! :-)

ralCapsFan:
You are quite welcome and you will not be shot for your comments about Hartnell. I have mixed feelings about him. First and foremost, we don't really need another wing, so I don't think it is a fit just now. Second, is he a pest or a punk? The Caps are 'nice' and could stand some grit (that's why I liked Cooke), but I can't stand dirty players; you could argue both sides for Hartnell. Anyway, as long as you are not petitioning for Briere or Avery (or a few other choice players) you're not going to get a lot of push back from me. Having said that, I will have to push back if you insist on calling me one of the "boys" (as mauree will tell you - I am a "lady" :-)).

RE: a road trip, there has been a lot of talk here for a year or two about getting a group together for an away game ... maybe this is the season?!?

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

_Stevo- heck yeah! I would go. Like kitty says though, I would probably want to keep it on the East Coast. Maybe go to Chicago. I was born there and I have family there, so it makes it easier. I've always wanted to go to Nashville too. A trip to New York could be fun. My brothr lives in the city and my sister and brother-in-law are Islanders STH.

So...yeah. I would do it. And I have a pile of vacation to burn through.

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 21, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

@Boo

Thanks for the info dude

Posted by: ralCapsFan | December 21, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

SO not cool! :-P

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Boo- I know, right? Oh, it's tuff alright! I'm still under doctor's orders not to drink and to stay on a bland diet for another 4 months. Thats tuff! No, I'm kidding. I have been amazingly lucky to make the connections I have and to be able to do the things I get to do by falling a_ _ backwards into this job. Sometimes things just work out!

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 21, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Lamp:
How can you do your job if you can't sample the goods? You need to tell your doctor it is a job requirement ... ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

@the only people on the board now

Yeah i would say if we get a group together..east coast

I know probably the easiest would be new jersey ( around a 4 hour drive) and tickets are fairly easy to come by for an old patrick division rival

nashiville interests me because i have never been there and i love going to new cities


as for the questions of hartnell, i wouldnt want him; he is a punk and if we really wanted a punk i would rather have avery (my favorite player after any capital and suthurby) yes let the comments reign down on me

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I tried. He came back with all this fancy stuff about "you could die" and "do it if you want, but it will probably kill you".

Now I just lie.

Nooooo. Kidding again. It's gotten to the point were most of the buyers I deal with are friends and we do things for each other as favors. Lets face it. It's booze. It hasn't changed all that much since Jesus made water into wine.

Posted by: lamplighter1 | December 21, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Bears Update:
Tonight the Bears beat Lake Erie (Avs farm team) 3-2 in a shootout. Varlamov in goal, faced 25 shots. Bears put 45 shots on goal. At least that was the official count but I didn't think it seemed like that many. Bears goals by Kyle Wilson and Quintin Laing. Chris Bourque and Andrew Gordon had the shootout goals. A pretty clean game - no fights, very few penalties. Bears looked a little sluggish at the start but picked it up as the game progressed. I honestly can't recall the Monsters first goal. The second one Varly probably should have stopped, but he didn't have much defensive support. I mean, when the only defenseman in the vicinity is Sasha Pokulok, well, enough said.

http://stats.theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1005210

Posted by: tess2201 | December 21, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

stevo:
Now that's just worse than ralCapsFan calling me boy and dude. I can live with the Erskine sweater but Avery?!? First Jose and now this. Steve, Steve, Steve ...

lamp:
Darn doctors. Ya know, they used to use alcohol to cure just about everything ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

if we really wanted a punk i would rather have avery (my favorite player after any capital and suthurby) yes let the comments reign down on me

stevo, dude... *shakes head in disapproval*


Posted by: mauree | December 21, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

there's our mauree and his voice of reason!! :-) and now you can tell ral that i'm not a dude, too!! ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

haha i knew i would get flak for it, but i cant help it..avery is my man, i played hockey the same way

just opinions not saying we should bounce some of our players for him or anything

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

you played like avery? did you dance in front of goalies, too?

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

@Boo!

dude, don't confuse us...


...
...

(sorry, couldn't resist)

Posted by: mauree | December 21, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

avery is old school hockey, which bettman is trying to kill....old school hockey is what i fell in love with so i dont know what to say

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

i actually did the robot in front of goalies, just joshin, but hey it was within the rules when he did it

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Boo! isn't a dude?

Who knew?

JK...

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

hey quick question for anyone out there...i am going to the winter classic in like a week and was seeing if it worth it to deal with the cold and stuff because i have had some pretty signficant offers for tickets?

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

mauree:
:-P

stevo:
Um, I don't recall any of the old timey greats dancing in front of a goalie. I know that there is more to his game than that, but it just summarized what he is all about so well. Come on, you can find a better role model than that ...

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

wait boo isnt a dude?

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Guy Lafleur use to always dance in front of the net and call Wayne Thomas fatso.

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

stevo,

seriously, I don't know Avery much, so I can't judge him in general. But the stick waving episode, yes it might be legal but it's unsportsmanlike in my book. Sports is supposed to inspire, what kind of inspiration is that? :p

Posted by: mauree | December 21, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

hey man he didnt cheat. He did he best job to piss off the best goalie ever and he succede and it was within the rules at the time. he is a pest and the best ever, like a dale hunter

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

JSchon:
So does that mean I get a new circus job? ;-)

stevo:
Come on now. It may have been within the rules, but everyone before him knew better for a bazillion years. RE: the Classic, it's worth it. Man up, put on your long johns and go, go, go!!!

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

he wasnt an inspiration when i played because he is roughly the same age as me, but come on he is a hockey player, the gritty ones are always dirty

thats the way i like my hockey

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

You guys @#$%!! :-P

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

There is a difference between gritty and dirty.

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, avery. My lips have twisted into that grimace of disgust that my dear departed Dad gave me when I had done something wrong, even though I knew better.

Posted by: uncatim | December 21, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Um...

Boo! You can have any circus job you want... Maybe the bad hygiene fake homemade lemonade and funnel cake maker?

Posted by: JSchon | December 21, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

@boo

i will even be missing my first caps home game in roughly 2 years to go watch the winter classic and freeze *** off, but i figured it will be worth it

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

yesss i love a god sean avery argument

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

that would be a good not god sean avery comment

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

JSchon:
Is that a promotion?!? :-/

Tim:
Nice to see all the long-time bloggers (posters, whatever) come out to gang up on stevo! :-) Who'll join us next?!?

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

stevo:
As much as I love my Caps, I agree - Winter Classic before a home game (especially since Smith will probably be in goal).

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

@Boo

so i see you want people to gang up on me

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

nah, just your comments about avery! :-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

well you are off the christmas card list

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the brisk air at the Winter Classic will clear your mind.

Posted by: uncatim | December 21, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

ahh jeez, if avery comments really affected you that much, come on

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

At least it wasn't the evil jagr.

Posted by: uncatim | December 21, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

are avery's comments any worse than when semin said women shouldn't play hockey they should be in the kitchen?

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

You don't mean that, stevo ... come on - don't post angry!! ;-)

Tim:
As usual - words of wisdom!

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

i understand everyone's avery agrument and you are entitled to your opinion,but you suspend him for six games but not someone who checks from behind toa guy who misses an entire season......seems a little backwards, like the freakin aclu is gettin into hockey

Posted by: _stevo | December 21, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't dislike Avery for his comments alone. I agree that the NHL over-reacted to that last incident - I think he has said things that are just as bad before with no ramifications (as have others). But Avery is just a train wreck overall.

Now, what do I need to do to get back on that Christmas card list? ;-)

Posted by: --Boo-- | December 21, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

I do sort of agree with Stevo about Theodore. That is, even though Johnson has been excellent, I have seen flashes of brilliance in Theo. If he settles down halfway through the season and becomes consistent, he has the kind of flair that could just get us to the Cup. If not, we are doomed.

And what's up with Semin? It seems that he is outhalf the time. I mean we are talking two seasons in the row. He must baby himself. Thank God that Ovie is as strong as an ox.

Posted by: caraveli | December 22, 2008 1:53 AM | Report abuse

@rdy4all2000 - Yes, but this was constant, and we do NOT boo the referees when it was a fair cop. The Flyers fans DID. That's the difference.

Posted by: irockthered | December 22, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

@caraveli: That's exactly it. Theo can be brilliant, no question. He's just not consistent about it. The nice thing about Johnson is that he is so consistent and we all know what to expect from him. Except for rare bad days, he gives us the same solid goaltending every time he's between the pipes. He hasn't had many bad days. He also doesn't let being scored on rattle him like Jose does.

Do I think Johnson can take us to the Cup? Not alone. As part of a tandem with another solid goalie, just maybe. Jose just isn't consistent enough to be that goalie.

Maybe he'll turn it around, who knows? If he does, he'd best do it quickly.

As for the road trip - hey, I didn't know Boo was a chick either. :) Cool stuff. I'd be very much up for a road trip. Actually, I have an idea, if you guys can get the time off (I've got vacation to burn). What say we all get out of Dodge for the inauguration and make it a two-game road trip? Leave Monday morning the 19th, go see the Islanders Monday afternoon, then drive up to Ottawa Monday night and Tuesday morning and go see the Senators Monday night. That'd put us back late on Wednesday.

Any takers? This'd require two nights in a hotel, two game tickets, and gas. My car is pretty small but clean and seats four. Oh, and you'll need a valid US passport.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 22, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

@-Boo-, _SteveO and Kitty: Missed the stuff about the road trip last night - too busy baking cookies for half my office! - but I'm in! Sounds like a lot of fun. :-)

@caraveli - if you'd seen that hit Semin took, you would not be considering him as babying himself. Have you ever had a back injury? I assure you they are no fun at all.

Posted by: irockthered | December 22, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

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